Thursday, March 10, 2011
Updated: March 11, 11:10 AM ET
Kobe Bryant: Dwyane Wade fouled me
By Dave McMenamin
MIAMI -- More than an hour after the final buzzer sounded in the Los Angeles Lakers' 94-88 loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday, Kobe Bryant was back on the American Airlines Arena court going through a nearly hour-long shooting routine as three Heat ball boys rebounded shot after shot.
It might have helped him work off the frustration of what he claimed was a missed foul call late in the game.
"[Dwyane] Wade fouled the s--- out of me," Bryant said with his feet dipped in a bucket of ice water after the game. Bryant was referring to the 3-pointer he attempted with 1:06 left and the Lakers down 90-88.
"It was clearly evident," Bryant said. "They missed it. ... He fouled the hell out of me, they just missed it."
Wade was credited with a block.
"I couldn't make that, he hit my whole arm," said Bryant, who had made his previous two 3-point attempts at the time, including a long 28-footer to tie the score at 88. "That's why I went so short. ... I should have been shooting three free throws."
Bryant said even Wade assumed he would hear a whistle after the play.
"He was surprised they didn't call a foul," Bryant said. "He came out and said, 'I fouled the s--- out of you!'"
Wade said after the game that he didn't foul Bryant.
Said Lakers coach Phil Jackson: "They didn't see it and they didn't call it. What can you say?"
Ron Artest corralled the errant air ball by Bryant and missed a layup at the rim with Zydrunas Ilgauskas closing on him. Artest's missed shot involved a little more controversy, as the Lakers felt that Ilgauskas should have been called for goaltending.
"I should have made the layup, but he hit my hand, grabbed my arm, hit my head and goaltended too, possibly," Artest said. "But that's an excuse, man. I should have made the layup. That's it."
The officials stopped the game twice in the fourth quarter to review balls that went out of bounds to determine which team should retain possession, but were not able to on the plays involving Bryant and Artest.
Jackson blamed himself for the loss.
"I really took responsibility for screwing up the end of the game because I tried to call a timeout at 2:03 [remaining] and in the process we lost a timeout," Jackson said. "We still had to take a timeout [and after that] there was still a mandatory one, so we only had one 20 [second timeout] left at the end of that thing. So, all those things kind of worked against us in that process."
The Lakers called their final timeout with 46 seconds remaining, trailing 92-88. Bryant turned the ball over on the ensuing possession and L.A. did not score again.
"Poor clock management on our part," Jackson said. "I had no timeouts with 46 seconds left to go. ... It's highly unusual for me. I don't know if it ever happened to me [before]."
Jackson, who is calling this year his "last stand," has coached in the NBA for 20 seasons. Thursday marked his 1,624th regular-season game.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.